The home side led 14-9 right up until the 78th minute when Ultan O'Callaghan forced his way over from a five metre scrum Even then Pat MCarthy had the difficult conversion to kick before his side could wrest the lead from the Andy Melville inspired Co Carlow. In injury time, the black and ambers might have snatched a famous victory when they were awarded their sixth kickable penalty of an exciting game. However that long range effort from Michael Swetman drifted wide drifted wide and Con were let off the hook
Second placed at the start of the day, Shannon maintained that position with a Tommy Cregan inspired 32-25 victory over Blackrock in Stradbrook. The Shannon-siders looked to be cruising to a comfortable win as they led 19-3 - four Cregan penalties and his conversion of Fiach O'Loughlin's try - with five minutes of the opening half to go. However tries for the home side from David Gannon and John Hearty turned this game on its head. A second Conor Kilroy penalty had Rock in front early after the restart but Cregan stamped his class on the game when first, he kicked a penalty and then added the touchline conversion to his own 47th minute try - ten points that sealed the outcome.
Buccaneers moved into third place, five points off the lead, with an emphatic 44-17 victory over St Mary's at Templeville Road. Buccs led 20-3 at the break but Mary's somehow dragged themselves back into contention with converted tries from Chris Fifield and Karl Gilligan. Mary's were reduced to 14 when David McHugh showed red to lock Paul Kelly, a decision that weighed heavily in favour of the visitors and tries from Wayne Munn, Dave Kelly and Eoin Brennan consigned Mary's to their fifth loss in seven outings.
In a repeat of last year's final, this one played at Castle Avenue, the outcome was decided by the boot of Dirk Strydom who won the kicking contest 4-2 to give his side a 12-6 victory and Ballymena are now in 4th spot, six points clear of Belfast Harlequins whose scrum-half Reece Spee scored four tries - three in the opening half - as his side demolished Galwegians 47-12 in Crowley Park. Harlequins are on 20 points as are Clontarf and both have played a game less than the sides above them.
Munster full-back Jeremy Staunton played a key role in Garryowen's 21-8 win over Dungannon in Dooradoyle. Staunton, on the bench on Friday, for Munster's game against Connacht, kicked two penalties but his general play was impressive and he pulled off a try-saving tackle on wing Paul Magee when the game was delicately balanced in the second half. Garryowen scored three tries through David Heaton (2) and the excellent Colin Varley.
Five John O'Mahoney penalties helped Dolphin to a 27-15 win over Lansdowne in Musgrave Park. The fact that it was a thrilling game will be of little consolation to a Lansdowne side who had two tries from Karl Becker but who find themselves in second from bottom place in the table, one point ahead of Galwegians.
AIB League Division One. Co. Carlow 14 16 Cork Constitution Blackrock College 25 32 Shannon Clontarf 6 12 Ballymena Dolphin 27 15 Lansdowne Galwegians 12 47 Belfast Harlequins Garryowen 21 8 Dungannon St. Mary's College 17 44 Buccaneers
AIB League Division Two. Barnhall 48 7 Sunday's Well D.L.S.P. 19 8 Waterpark Dublin University P P Thomond Midleton 5 10 Old Belvedere
AIB League Division Three Suttonians 10 39 Highfield City of Derry 19 13 Instonians Old Wesley 32 8 Ballina Portadown 14 6 Corinthians Skerries 17 38 Greystones Wanderers 22 15 Banbridge Clonakilty 22 19 Naas Queens University 46 13 Connemara